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Huzzah Valley Presents: Rockfest! 2016

So this past weekend was the first annual Rockfest at Huzzah Valley Resort in Steelville, MO. This was an idea presented by Casey Cato, of OneDay and Josh Herrin, his fellow bandmate ran with the idea with the help of Casey, John Nicholas & Jordon McCallister of Nervous Pudding/Sharon Hazel Township and other projects.

What is Rockfest? Well it's a 3-day camping/music/floating experience and spending time with family and friends. I think I would speak for a majority of the people involved in the local scene that it's like one big family. I know that I love to see the camaraderie among the scene in the local area. Even though some of us have love/hate relationships, like Gabe Stroup of Sky Burnt White and Korey Smith of Apollo's Daughter, ha-ha, it's all good boys.

The event started on Friday evening, I was not there to enjoy the festivities this night but Sharon Hazel Township opened the event, they are blues/jazz group and have very smooth sounds. Next up was 650 Winnebago, a rock band from Illinois rocked it out. Then we have the stylings of Nervous Pudding, they are now headlined by the talented Josh Lawson and stepping up with them was the return of Jordon McCallister on bass. If you have never checked out Nervous Pudding before, definitely do it, they have a unique quality about them all. Next up was Maximus, this features Michael "Blackie" Starks and a lot of other talented musicians. Closing out the night on Friday and fresh off their cd release party in June was New Lingo.

Come Saturday, there were several people that decided this was the day that they were going to go floating on this river, unfortunately for me, this was not the year that I could go floating after my surgery a month ago on my ankle, oh well trust me I still had a lot of fun. It was great seeing all the musicians supporting others in their craft (this family, I tell you) as they stood around and listened to all the bands and chatted with the crowd (fans).

The first band up on Saturday was My Twins from Mexico, MO (there is a blog below on them) and let me tell you they did not disappoint, we should expect to hear more good things from this band. Following them was Silent Hollow and Sky Burnt White, both of these bands from the St. Louis area and they have a huge following, I highly recommend taking a listen to them, as Josh Herrin will tell you Gabe Stroup, lead singer of Sky Burnt White has the voice of a dove. Next up, we have Apollo's Daughter and let me tell you I know that Gabe has that man crush on Korey Smith of this band. But no seriously, Lacey Corbett has the voice of an angel, I love listening to her and I absolutely am in love with Apollo's Daughter, I was happy to finally get a chance to hear them live.

Next up it was to be Made in Waves, but Evan Thomas didn't disappoint and neither did Christopher, who came up for an acoustic set as well. If you want to check out Evan's side project, go to Facebook and look up Fur the Birds. This band is out of Columbia, but Evan hails out of the St. Louis area, I am sure that we will be hearing more from him. Then we had System Slave from the Sullivan/St. Louis area, let me tell you this was the show to watch besides performing we had our own wedding proposal to witness when Stephen Harris brought his lovely girlfriend Stephanie Martinez on stage and propose d to her live and she could hardly speak, but she definitely said Yes. After this we followed up with Discrepancies, I can't say a bad word here either, because they definitely know how to perform and put on one hell of a show. We then had Columbia, MO band Inimical Drive and they are phenomenal on stage and their presence is utterly amazing. Closing out the night we had One Day and they did not disappoint either.

On Sunday, yet another day where people went floating we did not disappoint this day either. Granite City's own Cuvi performed and if you've never seen him let me tell you one thing that you need to know and that is that he is blind. He's so talented though and his jokes will make you laugh. Following Cuvi, we had Columbia's own Cost of Desire, they have a show in St. Louis at Cicero's at the end of the month with Silent Hollow, on September 24th. Then we follow that with St. Louis own L84DNR and Angerchild, both talented bands that you need to check out and support. Then we had Conman Economy, out of Kirksville, Mo and Neither of Me, out of Benton, Mo. Two local bands that are up and coming and I hope to see more out of them as well. Next up we had Glorious Than I, which just came off of its CD release party the night before. This is a Christian Metal/Alternative band out of the Jackson, MO area. Let me tell you, I felt the power of the words that Kaleb Webb spoke in between songs and this band has got a chance to do a lot of things. Seeing Seven is a band out of the Farmington, MO area and omg I am a fan, I've never heard them before Sunday evening and I loved them. We had The Odd Conversations and Amped Up which was supposed to close out the evening. But then for the special surprise, we had Worth the Fight, which is the cover band that Josh Herrin, Casey Cato and Bradley Jargon have out of the Alton/Granite City area, and we had others that jumped in to play their talents as well for the evening, we had a match-up of Josh Herrin and Josh Whitt (from the Odd Conversations) and more.

If you didn't make it out to Rockfest, you not only missed the great bands but some of the vendors which I'm going to shout out as well. We had Gig-A-Bot Rocks which is a new upcoming business venture of Katy and Evan Thomas, go to Facebook and check them out. Then we had Longbeards BBQ, omg tacos with pulled pork and cole slaw, my new favorite and I'm hoping that we see them out next year. We also had the shirts designed by BoEck, Inc., there were shirts supporting the rockfest to other shirts with sayings on them that were so hilarious. Our Emcee's for the weekend were the Brothers On Whatever radio show on 105.7 HD station it was an overall great weekend and I for one will be back next year. The Dates for Rockfest 2017 are September 1-3, 2017, please keep a watch on the blog for any information you may need for the next one.

-Amber Grote

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